May 28th, 2024

Christmas campaign brings hope for the holidays


By Trevor Busch LETHBRIDGE HERALD on November 16, 2021.

Herald photo by Trevor Busch - Interfaith Food Bank's Danielle McIntyre, left, Salvation Army's Donald Bergen, MyCityCare's Jen Tribble, Lethbridge Food Bank's Mac Nichol, Volunteer Lethbridge's Chelsea Eastman, mayor Blaine Hyggen and Lethbridge Family Service's Sandra Mintz are again joining forces to help those in need this Christmas.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDtbusch@lethbridgeherald.com

With the holiday season just around the corner, multiple agencies in Lethbridge are joining together once again for the Christmas Hope campaign in an effort to make the season just a little bit brighter for those less fortunate.
“Christmas Hope is back, and our whole purpose is to work together to ensure that the broader community – everyone in the community – has the opportunity to enjoy the spirit of Christmas,” said Danielle McIntyre with Interfaith Food Bank during a Monday morning press event at City Hall to kick off the 2021 campaign. “So we come together, to each do what we do, in partnership so every family has the opportunity for some food, gifts and the support that they need at Christmas time. As well as to give donors the opportunity to give to the charity of choice, or a collaboration with our group, to support the community.”
Christmas Hope is a multi-agency collaboration serving the community at Christmas including Lethbridge Food Bank, Interfaith Food Bank, The Salvation Army, Lethbridge Family Services Angel Tree, MyCityCare Shop of Wonders, and new in 2021, Volunteer Lethbridge.
Through the multi-agency partnership and shared clientele, these organizations estimate they swill be able to serve over 2,000 adults and 4,500 children during the holidays while reducing duplication of services. They also share resources and expenses to maximize the benefits to the community.
Multiple volunteer opportunities will be available for community members to be engaged with activities. Volunteer Lethbridge will help with promoting opportunities and screening volunteers for partner agencies.
“We are proud, and just so excited to join forces with Christmas Hope this year, it’s such a great initiative, it does so many things for the community during Christmas time,” said Chelsea Eastman with Volunteer Lethbridge.
Families requesting assistance with gifts for children can select one of three options, and agencies will work from a master list to avoid duplication of services and to share the workload in serving local families. Each organization will provide gift bundles worth $60 – $80. Agencies have incorporated procedures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and implement safety precautions for recipients and volunteers. Organizations involved in this aspect of the campaign include Lethbridge Family Services Angel Tree, the Salvation Army Toys for Tots, and MyCityCare Shop of Wonders.
There will be three standard sizes for Christmas hampers that contain the same food stock regardless of which agency they are distributed from. Hamper registration began on Monday, November 1 and follows the same process as the regular monthly registrations. Clients can register anytime in November at their regular location, preferably when they access their November Hamper. The organizations are planning to recruit enough food stock to serve roughly 1,600 families.
“Christmas can be an amazing time to celebrate with family and friends,” said Mayor Blaine Hyggen. “But we know that not everybody in our community has the same opportunities. Christmas can be a very difficult time for many people. Council is thrilled to help sponsor this event, with these fantastic organizations.”
Most wanted food items for donation include turkey, ham and chicken; canned vegetables, cranberry sauce, and stuffing mix; canned meat and fish; peanut butter and jam; cereal, dry pasta, pasta sauce, and baby food; canned soup and mixes; canned fruit, pork and beans, macaroni and cheese, and instant noodles; chili and canned pasta, cake and pancake mix, pudding and jello mixes; coffee, tea and hot chocolate, chocolates and candy, juice, and meat vouchers and gift cards.
Tax receipts can be issued for all financial contributions and food donations.
Other representatives in attendance on Monday included Mac Nichol with the Lethbridge Food Bank, Donald Bergen with the Salvation Army, Sandra Mintz with Lethbridge Family Services, and Jen Tribble with MyCityCare.
More information on how to sign up or to donate can be found on the website at http://www.christmashope.ca

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